Podcast: The Value of Motherhood

For You formed my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Marvelous are Your works, and I know this very well. -Psalm 139:13-15

Welcome to Turning the Page on Suicide. My son’s birthday is wrapped up in motherhood. He was born two days before Mother’s Day, all 10 pounds and 10 ounces and 21 inches of him. Would I do it all over again knowing how tragically his life would end? In a heartbeat.

From the first moment, I heard Jonathan’s loud and clear heartbeat at 9 weeks, I began to learn how precious life is. Cradled in my womb was life, connected, yet also separate and powerful enough because it changed me, literally from the inside out. God became real and active. Not a Bible story or a nice distant idea, but a real tangible person. His counsel and His Spirit began to guide my decisions. Life stopped being something that happened to me and became an active, engaged, painful and glorious adventure to explore and experience. Not perfect, not easy, but valuable.

I met God in Jonathan’s heartbeat. Life is a sacred gift and despair dissipates when we recognize the giver. Through motherhood, God taught me that every life has meaning and purpose, not determined by what mankind values, but set apart and designed by Him. Simply put, if Jonathan were never born, I would not be who I am, and many others would not know they are loved and valued. Jonathan left his fingerprint on this world. My heartache is that he died without knowing the joy of God finishing the good work in him and others. You and I can live differently because we learn through both Jonathan’s life and suicide that every breath is valuable. Notice the needs of others around you, and be vulnerable to connect and ask for help. Create a new heartbeat for me by embracing life, no matter how hard, and live it to the fullest. That is the best gift you can give to me on Mothers Day.

Every Moment Mattered

Turning the Page on Suicide Podcast—Taking Deeper Breaths

Turning the Page on Suicide-Taking Deeper Breaths https://www.chirpapp.com/audiopost/egx5zrnKvM

Welcome to Turning the Page on Suicide. I apologize for the long absence. This evening I received a gentle reminder to post, even if I manage just a word or two.

In the first days of grieving my son’s suicide I posted every day, without fail. It may have been a few sentences, a poem or a thought, but there was something about the daily discipline of posting while experiencing despair. It was like taking a clean breath in the middle of thick stale air.

Tonight, it took swim lessons to remind me to breathe again. I am learning the different strokes in swimming because I am tired of panicking. As someone who almost drowned as a ten-year-old, I value air, but I have never learned how to relax when desperate. My instructor worked with me on not letting a bad breath ruin the next one.  Recovery takes practice, consistency and retraining muscles to value the oxygen given. Relaxing into each moment stretches out and strengthens the power in each breath. I stop fighting and start trusting the water.

Sorrow sneaks up on us and chokes our air with business, troubles, and even well-intentioned service. Maintain your breath. I know no other way but to spend time with Jesus, study his word, spend time in creation, connect with others and apply what I am learning. Writing and now swimming teaches me to breathe deeply, even if all I get in a day are a few deep cleansing breaths.

Challenge: What helps you to breathe? Drawing, hiking, sewing, reading. Pick an activity or explore something new and focus on taking deeper breaths of the experience. What do your senses tell you in the moment? Is it easier to connect with others when you breathe life more slowly and intentionally?

Your story is worth writing! I breathe, turn the page and find out what happens next.

devotional podcast